All helicopters blow up: The Hollywood guide to aviation


Airliners are inhabited by lovers whose timing is all wrong – unless they never make it to the plane as they are intercepted at the airport by their other half running in at the last moment. Airliners are full of lovely family people whose lives will be savagely cut short by the crash. They are full of sweating terrorists and inexplicably awful folk to sit next to. Air hostesses may want to have sex with you, or they might just want to be heroic in an emergency. Your plane is far more likely to crash if the pilot is an excellent husband.


Fighters are flown by handsome men with unprofessional attitudes and innate skills. Their main use is to kill space ships, communists or Nazis. Wingmen die. Every fighter plot has an equally skilled nemesis and a psychological flaw. Formations are always close, pilots can be white, black or fat, occasionally female, but not East Asian. Fighter pilots celebrate surviving a dangerous mission by flying in a dangerous way. Here’s some great fictional aircraft.

All helicopters blow up, unless they are transporting the hero home at the end of the film. If so they are likely to be bathed in a gorgeous sunset. Helicopters can be shot down easily with small hand-held weapons, but the easiest way is to confuse the pilot into flying into a natural obstacle. They like landing on skyscrapers. The skids are often held onto by heroes (whose arms are often trampled on by baddies). Helicopters can also be used by repressive governments, cool American special soldiers or by thoughtful and damaged souls in Vietnam. Very hi-tech helicopters are used by really kick-ass good guys. Helicopters often stalk lone escaping blokes who hide behind rocks.

Seen the trillions spent on axed aeroplanes?

Surface-to-air missiles are used by arseholes. They can generally be defeated by hard manoeuvring, but the third is likely to be the one that downs you (or kills your wingman). They almost killed Superman and they are used by cowards, not manly enough to punch flying things out of the sky with their own fists.

Bombers are flown by brave young men, unless they’re enemy and then they’re flown by pale men in goggles. The oldest guy is the boss, and one of the aircrew has red hair. They’ve been hand-selected as they’re the best crew. Dive-bombers and ground attack aircraft are normally used by pricks or nasty regimes.

Private jets are generally flown by dickheads, usually criminals. They are used for escaping quite a bit. People who have them tend to have harems of busty women.


Transport (military cargo) aircraft have a ramp that is ideal for fighting. They tend to be in Africa and crewed by people with foreign accents. A flight rarely goes by without someone being thrown out in a punch-up (our man has a parachute). These aircraft can also contain troubled Westerners who’ve been immersed in the hell and chaos of foreign places.

Ohh, and biplanes tend to fly upside down… it is often necessary to leave the cockpit in all aircraft types and do something dangerous by crawling around on the plane, it’s OK though as this normally works.

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  1. Pingback: Axed! The trillion dollar list of shame: The Ten Most Expensive Cancelled Aircraft | Hush-Kit
  2. RP

    For the fighter types, it’s worth remembering that enemy cannon fire can be avoided with a few stylish barrel rolls. Also, aliens (despite their supreme space-crossing technology) tend to favour unguided point-and-shoot laser cannons… these can also be avoided by rolling your aircraft and quipping frequently

  3. ,,

    I remember Airwolf. Hundreds of years from now, historians will be talking about the troubled era of roaming helicopter gangs in USA.

    • Bruce

      Airwolf is a bit like quantum mechanics – all conventional laws of physics change.
      – It’s possible to build a helicopter that is so heavily armoured that it stops 20mm fire without even scratching the paintwork.
      – A helicopter that can do mach 1.
      – 3 “Maverick tube launchers” can fire a dozen missiles over the course of a single engagement.
      – The Mavericks can also take out jet fighters.
      – 1 x cannon & 2 x machine guns can be retracted into a space which is already occupied by the wheels.

      Have I missed any?

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